Community Holds the Key to Social Media Success

Written by  March 10, 2009

In a time not so long ago, the term ‘community’ referred to the neighborhood or town you lived in. From neighbors to businesses, communities always served a role as its residents’ support system.

With the creation of social media, communities became global. Residents didn’t need to have the same zip code, just a common thread.

Social media has afforded e-commerce website the opportunity to not only sell, but also to become part of the community.

Here’s how:

Social Networking Sites. You may have assumed Facebook and MySpace were reserved for high school kids. While Facebook was created as a means to connect college kids, it has exploded into a site that Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, Nieces, Nephews and your Third Grade teacher all frequent. Facebook has become the new watering hole where by which we all gather around to exchange stories and catch up with one another. MySpace is run in a similar vein; however, its users trend toward the more creative (musicians and artists) or the young (teen-agers).

Blogging. Web Logging, or Blogging, has become one of the most popular forms of self-publishing in the 21st century. The only tool necessary to blog is an internet connection. Many people and businesses become flustered over deciding whether to blog. Most aren’t sure what to blog about or how much to reveal. One of the advantages of a blog is that unless you are writing under a corporate directive, you can do as much — or as little — with your blog as you want.

Microblogging. Microblogging sites like Twitter and Friendfeed have married blogging with social media to create a finished product that looks something like a community bulletin board. Users friend, follow and post using a “Telephone” game-like principles.

How can social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and blogs translate into dollars for an e-commerce site? If you guessed community, you’d be correct.

All social media sites are created around the tenet that everyone in them is part of a community. Within each community, there are groups and subgroups of users with specific interests. This is true for Facebook and MySpace, where one can joing a group dedicated to a topic of their choice; with bloggers, where like-minded bloggers congregate on similar sites; and with microblogging sites like Twitter, where users tend to follow based on keywords and comments.

For an e-commerce site to be successful in the social media world, it needs to become part the community of which it is trying to sell. Join, or create, groups; launch a blog; begin to Twitter. Each of these social media outlets will bring you closer to where you want to be — in your community.

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